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Request for Proposals: Synthesizing Evidence to Understand if Remittances Reach the Poorest; Its Impact on Resilience of the Poorest; and Lessons Learned in the Context of Climate Change

Dilip Ratha's picture

The Climate Policy Team of the World Bank in partnership with the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is commissioning a paper in above mentioned topic. This paper will inform the work underway in a flagship report on “Climate Change, Migration and Securing Resilience” being led by the Climate Policy Team.

Understanding the links between climate change, remittances and poverty in the context of development is of interest. Climate change poses one of the greatest threats to human communities, ecosystems, and development goals. Vulnerability to climate risks, is often highest in the world’s poorest communities. The potential loss of ecosystem services threatens the livelihoods of many marginal populations, and a lack of resources in poorer communities exacerbates sensitivity and severely limits adaptive capacity. As such, remittances could provide a safety net through consumption smoothing to migrant households as a coping mechanism during climate induced events and disasters. It can also build resilience through ex-ante preparedness and ex-post recovery.

Facing significantly changing circumstances, both slow onset (e.g. drought) and extremes (e.g. floods, tropical storms), some affected people will succeed in adapting either locally or through migration, while others will become entrapped (involuntarily) or remain immobile (voluntarily) in at-risk areas. Poor households with low capacity and poor entitlement to livelihood are already vulnerable in pre-disaster contexts. Poor non-migrant households with no additional source of income (remittances) will lack the ability to cope and recover from disaster and extreme events, leaving them worse off than they were before the event. Therefore, the poorest non-recipient households face the highest risk of recovery and adaptation, and impact due to climate change.

There is a general consensus on the impact of remittances on poverty reduction. However, literature specifically on impact of remittance on poverty and inequality in context of acute and slow onset environmental change is inadequate to make judgments as to the benefits or costs for the poorest.

Therefore, the objective of this study is to:

• First, synthesize existing evidence to understand to what extent economic and social remittances, on both international and internal levels, reach the poorest among the entrapped.

• Second, distill and comment how these remittances affect the resilience of the poor, including those who move as well as those who are voluntarily immobile or entrapped.

• Third, distill good practices, lessons and give recommendations on how benefits of remittances can be maximized and negative impacts mitigated in the context of the poorest and entrapped.

See detailed Terms of Reference here.

Please submit proposals no later than January 2, 2017 to: Hanspeter Wyss, Focal Point for the Thematic Working Group “Environmental Change and Migration”, KNOMAD Secretariat at and; Kanta Kumari Rigaud, Lead Environmental Specialist, Climate Policy Team